How to Record Streaming Audio in Ubuntu and other Linux Distributions

How to record audio in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions?

If you want to record a voice over through the microphone of your computer, you can use GNOME Sound recorder or Audacity.

Using GNOME Sound Recorder is easy but it lacks features. Audacity could be overwhelming initially but it has plenty of features for professional level recording. However, I am not going into that detail in this tutorial.

GNOME Sound Recorder works with the microphone. There is another tool called Audio recorder and you can use it to record streaming music (from Sptify, YouTube, internet radio, Skype and most other sources) apart from microphone input.

To summarize, I’ll show you the steps:

  • To record sound using GNOME Sound Recorder
  • To record streaming audio using Audio Recorder

Using Sound Recorder to record audio from the microphone

GNOME desktop environment has a good variety of useful applications. Sound Recorder is one of them.

You can install the Sound Recorder from the Ubuntu Software Center.

sudo apt install gnome-sound-recorder

Once installed, you can find it in the system menu and start from there.

sudo apt remove gnome-sound-recorder

The application of GNOME Sound recorder is limited. It only records from the microphone and this is not what you would want in certain situations.

Imagin you want to record a Skype call or something which is playing in an application or web browser? The nifty Audio Recorder helps in such cases.

Using Audio Recorder to record streaming audio

You can watch this video to see how to use Audio Recorder. It’s a bit old but the steps are the same.

You can use the official PPA to install Audio Recorder in Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Use the following commands in the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) one by one:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:audio-recorder/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install audio-recorder

Alternatively, you can download the source code from launchpad. Once installed, you can start the application from the Activity Overview:

record the music played on YouTube. I saved a 2-minute video in MP3 format that took 934 KB of space. But I must say I was not expecting the recorded sound quality to be so good. Honestly, I could not distinguish it from the original YouTube song.

Removing Audio Recorder

If you don’t find Audio Recorder to your liking, you can remove it using the following commands:

sudo apt remove audio-recorder

It will be a good idea to remove the PPA as well:

sudo apt-add-repository -r ppa:audio-recorder/ppa


There are probably several other tools for audio recording in Linux. Like GNOME, other desktop environments may also have sound recording apps. I know Deepin has one for sure.

GNOME Sound Recorder is a decent tool for recording sound from your microphone. For recording sound from various sources, Audio Recorder is a good choice.

I hope it helps with your audio recording needs. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

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